Monday :: Feb 8, 2010

Don't Read This


by Turkana

Don't read this. The corporatist media don't want you to know about it. It's only the greatest threat humanity has ever faced, yet they all but ignore it. And when they do pay attention, it's to create a false narrative that what is now accepted science isn't accepted science. It's to create a controversy where there isn't one.

Imagine if the greatest threat humanity has ever faced got even a fraction of the attention given to the small band of extremist idiots who wasted hundreds of dollars each, over the weekend, to delude themselves that they are brave heroes on engaged in a noble cause. Extremist idiots who, themselves, deny the existence of the greatest cause humanity has ever faced.

On February 1, The Guardian had this simple but devastating news:

A global deal to tackle climate change is all but impossible in 2010, leaving the scale and pace of action to slow global warming in coming decades uncertain, according to senior figures across the world involved in the negotiations.

"The forces trying to tackle climate change are in disarray, wandering in small groups around the battlefield like a beaten army," said a senior British diplomat.

In the Bush era, we could blame it on Bush. But Bush is gone, and although President Obama isn't pushing a climate deal with the desperate urgency it really requires, he is at least engaged in the process. Just today, more effort was announced. And yet, the international process is broken. It can't be blamed on the U.S., anymore. A process that doesn't have time for incrementalism, much less stalling, is completely broken. A process that doesn't have time for self-interest and nationalist obstructionism. The world's governments are failing.

Meanwhile, Exxon is expanding its campaign of disinformation. The British Tories, who are favored to win their next elections, are increasingly jumping the teabag. The E.U. has been busy bickering, and their resolution was pitiful. China is buried in denial. India is obfuscating. Russia has its head in the tundra. Australia's government's attempt to be responsible is tearing it apart. And the U.S. Senate continues its consistent record as an opponent of progress. And as that Guardian article continued:

Many of those contacted say only a legally binding deal setting "top-down" global limits on emissions can ultimately avoid the worst impacts of rising temperatures. But a global deal at the next major climate summit in Mexico is impossible, says the former deputy prime minister John Prescott, now the Council of Europe's rapporteur on climate change. "I don't care if it's government ministers or NGOs, if they think you can get a legal agreement all signed up by November in Mexico, I don't believe it."

Impossible.

Meanwhile, a major glacier in Antartica is about to collapse. A November study says the ability of plants to absorb some human-emitted carbon dioxide probably has been over-estimated. A new report says the number of strong storms in the western Atlantic could double by the end of the century. A new study says ocean acidification could diminish phytoplankton blooms, thus undermining the source of half the world's atmospheric oxygen. And, of course, January saw this report, in Science Daily:

A new analysis of global surface temperatures by NASA scientists finds the past year was tied for the second warmest since 1880. In the Southern Hemisphere, 2009 was the warmest year on record.

Although 2008 was the coolest year of the decade because of a strong La Nina that cooled the tropical Pacific Ocean, 2009 saw a return to a near-record global temperatures as the La Nina diminished, according to the new analysis by NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York. The past year was a small fraction of a degree cooler than 2005, the warmest on record, putting 2009 in a virtual tie with a cluster of other years --1998, 2002, 2003, 2006, and 2007 -- for the second warmest on record.

Or even more to the point:

January 2000 to December 2009 was the warmest decade on record. Looking back to 1880, when modern scientific instrumentation became available to monitor temperatures precisely, a clear warming trend is present, although there was a leveling off between the 1940s and 1970s.

The nations facing imminent catastrophe are trying. But they are tiny, and considered politically insignificant. There are already an estimated 25,000,000 climate refugees. We ignore them not only at their peril but at our own. These nations, these peoples. Keep an eye on them. Their desperation will be ours. Because in the face of the greatest threat humanity has ever faced, the world's leaders are failing to lead.

Turkana :: 11:30 AM :: Comments (17) :: Spotlight :: Digg It!